Bose-Einstein condensate experiments to be conducted in space

July 1, 2013
Boulder, CO--ColdQuanta has supplied JPL with elements of its physics package destined to create Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) in the Cold Atom Lab on the International Space Station.

Boulder, CO--ColdQuanta has supplied the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with elements of its physics package destined to create Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) (http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/2011/12/laser-light-dresses-ultracold-atoms-in-bec.html) in the Cold Atom Lab on the International Space Station (ISS) (http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/print/volume-48/issue007/features/planetary-and-deep-space-applications-push-spectroscopy-to-the-outer-limits.html). The heart of the system, which simplifies and expedites the production of BEC and ultracold atoms, is ColdQuanta's tabletop RuBECi product.

While ultracold atom technology is being used in a wide range of research applications ranging from quantum computers, atomic clocks, magnetometry, and other precision instrumentation, this will be the first time that experiments involving ultracold atoms (http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/print/volume-44/issue-9/world-news/atom-lasers-atom-source-for-condensate-is-quantum-leap-for-atom-optics.html) will be conducted in space. At a temperature of less than 1 microKelvin, the atoms inside ColdQuanta’s vacuum cell will still be several orders of magnitude colder than space itself. One of the primary goals of the Cold Atom Lab on ISS is to explore a previously inaccessible regime of extremely low temperatures where interesting and novel quantum phenomena can be expected. JPL will be responsible for developing the ISS payload.

"To have our products on the International Space Station is incredibly exciting for all of us," said Rainer Kunz, CEO of ColdQuantarecipient of a 2008 honorable mention in the CLEO/Laser Focus World Innovation Awards. He added, "We are honored and very proud that JPL has recognized our expertise as a supplier of ultracold atom devices and systems and we are thrilled to be a part of these unique experiments."

ColdQuanta focuses on the development of BEC (Bose-Einstein Condensate), ultracold and cold atom generating devices and systems, allowing them to be accessible to a wide range of research, educational, and industrial institutions. Their products are intended for use in scientific and industrial applications requiring high performance and reliability. The company also provides custom engineering solutions to the cold atom and ultracold atom community.

SOURCE: ColdQuanta; http://www.coldquanta.com

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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